One thing I rarely talk about is the fact that it’s important to have your travel documents in an organised folder on your journeys and I always do this. I keep a simple folder in my backpack/hand luggage with all the details I need for upcoming trips (flights, buses, hostels etc.). In some cases it’s an absolute must to have physical documents to travel, here are a few recent examples:
– For Ryanair Flights you must check in online print your own boarding pass (otherwise you have to pay £70, crazy money!).
– Some Train companies will only accept physical documents, not just a reference number or a smartphone message with the details on it.
– I was doing a media tour recently to the Tower of London, but could only get in with a physical printed copy of my reservation.
So it’s important to have access to a printer and here are the best ways I print things on my travels:
1. Ask your hotel or hostel.
Most hotels and hostels will print things off for you. If it’s only one page, like a boarding pass, they often won’t charge. It’s a handy and easy way to get things printed. In fact, I find it a bit rude if I stay in a hotel or hostel and they refuse to print a document for me.
2. Ask your friends/family
I often stay with friends and family on my travels, some of whom have their own flats and houses and computer and printer. This makes an easy option, they’ll gladly do a favour for you by printing them.
3. Local Libraries.
Depending on what city or country you are in, the local libraries often have internet access and can print documents for you for a decent price.
4. Internet Cafes.
This is a learning curve – please note that internet cafes that print documents are few and far between. On occasion I have spent hours running around a city looking for an internet cafe. Here are three random internet cafes I know on my travels and I always rely on them to print documents for me when I’m in town:
– Victoria Internet Cafe, London. I found an Internet Cafe in Victoria located at 330 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1AA. Just across the street near HSBC Bank. London is a tough city for finding people to print things for you. Thankfully one local businessman in Victoria has this internet cafe virtually opposite the station. If I’m passing through and need things, printed I always head here. It’s 50 p a colour sheet and 30 p a black and white sheet but that doesn’t matter when you’re in need to things being printed.
– U10 Internet Cafe, Parramatta, Australia
Level1/202, Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150 – this was always my handy local internet cafe in Parramatta, I’d print multiple things there and always get a good rate.
– Internet Cafe in Gracia Square, Barcelona. In the main square in Gracia in Barcelona is a handy internet cafe I found in my desperate attempt to print my flight pass the day before flying out of El Prat Airport.
What I have learned is that there is no decent website out there with accurate up to date information or maps on the locations of internet cafes that can print documents for you. The best way is to ask the locals, your hostel/hotel staff and just generally walk around. That London one is a Godsend though I have to say!
So as I tour Romania this week, I’ll be on the look out for internet cafes just in case I need things printed in a rush. It’s always a good idea when you’re out and about towns and cities to keep your eyes peeled for them.